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Instant runoff voting campaign kicks off in St. Paul

Curtis Gilbert // Published July 23, 2009 in MPR News

St. Paul, Minn. — Supporters of instant runoff voting kicked off a campaign Wednesday night to institute the alternative balloting system in St. Paul.

City residents will vote this November on whether to use the instant runoff voting in future elections for mayor and city council.

Council member Melvin Carter said he supports the system because it allows voters to specify a second- and third-choice candidate, in case their first-choice candidate loses.

"We have a chance to eliminate some of those wasted votes and that decision that so many people have to make when they go to the polls and say, 'Do I want to cast a vote for that person I really, really, really believe in, or do I want to take the pragmatic route?'" Carter said.

Voters have already approved instant runoff voting in Minneapolis, and it will be used for city elections there this fall.

A group that unsuccessfully challenged Minneapolis in court over the system says it's not planning to launch a political campaign against instant runoff voting in St. Paul.